Monday, July 29, 2013

Galoshes. Hoover. Xerox.

I was opening mail from the NAACP when it occurred to me that when older white people use the tern “colored,” they're simply using the term that was contemporary and accepted when they where forming their vocabulary. Like when they say icebox or davenport. My grandpa called my tricycle a velocipede. So listen for context, is my point. Are they being racist? Or just old fashioned? Dang. It'll be a great day when a white person can without a second thought invite a Black friend over for a supper that includes fried chicken and watermelon. Because those things are delicious.

Monday, July 22, 2013

There's not a lot I know for certain.

Beyond the tying of shoelaces, there isn't much you can teach a person. But I believe every child should be given this little speech: “Whether they know it or not, everybody you meet is trying to make you more like themselves. Strong people tend to make you stronger. Weak people do things to weaken you. Drunks offer you drinks; whiners want you to whine back. Cruel people will be gratified if you respond to their cruelty with your own. Look for the kind, sad, funny people. They are the best. Try to learn for yourself how to be like them.”

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monsanto are still jerks, though.

Maybe it was shortsighted to pump up our agricultural outputs to where we can feed so many of us. Probably we should reduce our dependence on commodity-crop monoculture. And certainly we'll be restructuring the entire food chain over the next few decades. But look: When a living cell gets its DNA tweaked so it grows in some new way, that's called mutation. If a mutation enhances an organism's ability to survive and reproduce, then that mutation is replicated many times over. Like zebra stripes. Or opposable thumbs. So stop worrying about Frankenfood. You're a GMO and so am I.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Road Rant

East Cleveland is east of Cleveland. East St. Louis is east of St. Louis. So it’s peculiar that East Troy, Wisconsin is actually to the west of the ancient city of Troy. A long way, too. It hardly qualifies as a suburb at all. Down the road, there’s a chain of burger joints in Rockford, Illinois, called Beefaroo. The only other thing I know about Rockford is that’s where Cheap Trick is from. I fail to see any connection. Also, wouldn’t you think that entering a building called Piggly Wiggly would be an occasion for uproarious hilarity? It’s not, though.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Kelly and Scott, too

As I slouch through my 60th year on this planet I find myself contemplating important people from my formative years. Occasionally from the lofty perspective which the intervening decades have provided I will suddenly have astonishing (to me) insights into relationships that I had taken for granted at the time. Like, that charming uncle who showed up periodically was a lonely drunk. Like, my parents were amateurs, young people with problems of their own who on balance did a great job. And, really, when you think about it, Kirk and Spock were just Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin in space.